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  • Writer's pictureBrett Simpson

In my experience…persistence is a virtue

I enjoy hearing about the life journeys other people take and how they arrived at today, regardless of profession, age, background, etc.  It’s mind-boggling to think about the number of experiences that comprise a life’s story.  Many times, the take-away for me is in the effort the person put into life, overcoming obstacles and achieving goals.

In my experience, persistence is a virtue.  The positives and negatives we experience in life are relative to our own perspectives…meaning everyone is unique.  There are certainly commonalities, nevertheless the paths we’ve taken are our own.  Speaking in absolutes is risky, but it’s fair to say that I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t demonstrated persistence.

There’s a sense of motivation that comes from hearing about a challenge, the persistence to push forward, and the result.  Success isn’t always the outcome of persistence, but failure, while painful, isn’t always negative.  Many times, the person across the table from me has said it was a good thing they ‘failed’ in a particular endeavor because if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have _fill in the blank_.

Persistence comes from an unwillingness to settle combined with a drive to succeed.  While it resides in each person, the degree to which people persist varies widely.  Several factors contribute to this including past experience, energy, desire and ability.

Past Experience

Persistence and insanity seem to be closely related.  By popular definition, insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  Maybe successful persist-ers have learned from previous experience that trying something time and again with incremental change eventually leads to success.  There are others whose past experience has been so traumatic or disappointing that the drive to persist simply doesn’t exist. 


Persistence requires energy.  Some people thrive on challenges and are energized enough that repetitive failure doesn’t faze them.  


Desire creates persistence.  The carrot of success must outweigh the cost to get it, otherwise the desire to persist is diminished.  Motivators are different for each person, as are the risks.   


Ability is critical to persistence.  This may be one person’s ability or an entire team’s ability.  Without ability, persistence is an exercise in futility.

Persistence requires a strong spirit of resilience.  Without persistence there is no progress.

Special thanks to Grant Gooding, whose ability recognize and mitigate risk as a multi-time entrepreneur is a great lesson in persistence, and to Blake Miller, whose desire and energy to build and scale innovation, through persistence, is inspiring.

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